By Colette Downie
The annual Great Glebe Garage Sale has been cancelled for a second straight year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It was also cancelled last year because of public health restrictions.
Every year, many in our neighbourhood and across Ottawa look forward to reconnecting and celebrating spring at the Great Glebe Garage and Sidewalk Sale. For many, it is a spring highlight, attracting thousands of people to the neighbourhood, diverting tonnes of goods from landfills, generating significant sales for Glebe businesses and raising thousands of dollars for local charities.
The Ottawa Food Bank has been the prime focus of that fundraising since the event began in 1986, as residents responded to the request to donate a share of the proceeds of their sidewalk sales. The Ottawa Food Bank provides fresh and non-perishable food, as well as supplies such as diapers, toiletries and cleaning supplies to its network of over 100 emergency food programs across the city. Every dollar donated provides $5 in nutritious food for men, women and children in Ottawa.
The GCA is considering partnering with Give Shop again this year to hold another Great Glebe Garage Sale – Virtual Edition to benefit the Ottawa Food Bank. We will share more about our plans in the coming months. We are also asking everyone in the neighbourhood to help make up the fundraising shortfall caused by the sale’s cancellation by donating directly to the Ottawa Food Bank online at ottawafoodbank.ca or by finding other ways to support the organization this spring and summer.
Beyond donating directly online, here are a few other ways you could help the Ottawa Food Bank make sure that no one in our community goes hungry during the COVID-19 crisis:
Create a personalized online donation page to celebrate your birthday or another special occasion. You can email the Events Team at the Ottawa Food Bank to learn more firstname.lastname@example.org
Participate in one of the Ottawa Food Bank’s group volunteering opportunities. This is a great way to help, but it is also incredibly rewarding for those who give their time. For example, you could sign up to help sort and distribute food at the Ottawa Food Bank’s warehouse or gain experience growing or harvesting fresh produce at their Community Harvest Farm. Group bookings can fill up fast – email email@example.com for more information.
Collect food and drop it off in a red cage at a Loblaws or Metro. Non-perishable, nutritious food items such as canned meats and vegetables, cereal and rice are easy to store and deliver. Snap a photo of your drop-off and tag the Ottawa Food Bank on social media.
We will work hard to bring back the Great Glebe Garage Sale when it’s safe to do so. In the meantime, consider joining the Glebe’s wonderful Buy Nothing group on Facebook – it is a great way to meet your neighbours (in a COVID-safe way) while giving your stuff new life and diverting it from landfills. And please keep supporting our local businesses – they’re an important part of the fabric of the Glebe, and many are struggling financially because of the current COVID-19 restrictions.
Colette Downie is a member of the board of the Glebe Community Association and the volunteer coordinator for the Great Glebe Garage Sale.